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Get to Know Surah Al-Hujurat – with Brother Nouman

Episode 10

This beautiful surah is divided into three parts.

Do you want to understand Surah Al-Hujurat at a deeper level?

Get to Know a Surah of the Quran is a series of videos brother Nouman Ali Khan presented in the year 2016 during the month of Ramadan.

The following is a summary of some of the most important points and reflections brother Nouman mentioned in this tenth episode.

Honor the Messenger

The first part of the surah is focused on one subject, which is the amount of dignity, respect, loyalty and obedience we are supposed to show to our Messenger, peace be upon him.

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We are supposed to raise our voice before him, we are not supposed to even speak before him…

One day Umar ibn Al-Khattab and Abu Bakr Al-Siddique started arguing about something, then the revelation came that you should not be raising your voice before the voice of the prophet, peace be upon him.

Allah (SWT) says:

{O you who have believed, do not put [yourselves] before Allah and His Messenger but fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.} (49:1)

An interesting contrast is made in this passage which is not found elsewhere in the Qur’an.

On the one hand it is the prophet, so when he speaks it’s revelation, so you should take it at face value and not question it, and humble yourselves before it.

But part of believing and honoring the dignity of revelation is the opposite.

And the opposite is if some corrupt new source comes to you, or somebody brings forward slander or lie or back-biting or something like that, then you need to verify it, and you need to actually question the facts. Allah (SWT) says:

{O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.} (49:6)

So both of those go hand in hand.

On the one hand, taking all the things your messenger gives you completely and whole-heartedly without question, and at the same time to decipher between revealed knowledge and all other kinds of knowledge especially corrupt kinds of information which you have to critique and criticize.

Honor Each Other

Now that your relation with the prophet, peace be upon him, has been established, and how much you are going to dignify him and honor him, then the next subject that the surah takes on is how Muslims are supposed to honor each other.

It begins with a command for Muslims not to fight one another.

In case of any conflict between believers, make reconciliation and peace between them and then an exhaustive discourse follows on how Muslims are supposed to sort things out.

There are a few things we may learn from that.

The first of them is that it is going to happen.

And the second is it shouldn’t happen.

It shouldn’t happen because your love for your prophet should be so much that you are all able to overlook what angers you towards each other. Allah (SWT) says:

{The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.} (49:10)

That reminds me of another surah in the Qur’an when Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, was very angry at his blood brother Harun, and to calm his brother down, Harun called upon the mutual love that they had for their mother by calling him (O son of my mother).

Similarly, in this case, to calm the anger down between Muslims, you call upon the love that they share in common with each other, and that is the love for their messenger, peace be upon him.

A practical example of that would be a Muslim losing his cool towards another Muslim, and you remind them to send their prayers among the Prophet, peace be upon him.

And that is like spilling water over fire. It should cool everything down.

But that is one side of physically arguing or going at each other.

The other side of it is more subtle.

So on the other side of this equation, within this second passage, is six instructions:

  • Not to make fun of each other
  • Don’t point out each other’s flaws
  • Don’t give ugly or sarcastic nicknames
  • Stay away from many different kinds of making assumptions, because that leads into sin
  • Don’t engage in spying on one another, don’t try to find out each other’s personal matters
  • And don’t backbite one another

All these instructions are mentioned in verses (49:11) & (49:12) …

So these ethics of communication is talked about exhaustively in this surah, which then leads to the third part, which is also about honor.

The Most Noble are the ones with Most Taqwa

Allah (SWT) says:

{O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted} (49:13)

What that means is race is gone.

Race, that makes one human being superior to another, is not an issue now.

That is not a concern.

And this is about all of humanity.

Allah SWT made you into nations and tribes that are dependent on each other so that you may get to know one another…

The most beloved to Allah are the ones who have the most taqwa, which is something in the inside, which only Allah can know…

In this last passage, the logical connection is also really beautiful.

In the beginning, you have to honor your messenger (Part 1).

What results from honoring your messenger is that you end up honoring each other (Part 2).

And when you honor each other and your messenger, that is actually the biggest manifestation of taqwa, and when you have taqwa, it is Allah who honors you…

And that is how the three parts of Surah Al-Hujurat come together…

For more reflections and details on this surah explained by brother Nouman, and to watch the full episode, please click here.

Read Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3– Part 4– Part 5 – Part 6 –  Part 7Part 8 – Part 9.